It's been awhile since I last posted. We've been busy here with life issues and while we have been eating, many of our meals have been repeats of other things you've seen me do. But, now that Father's Day is past and weekends are less busy, I've been thinking about writing again.There's a lot to write about. Last Tuesday, my wife swore allegiance to the United States and became a spanking new citizen. That is a milestone for both of us. Since I've known Neeta, her immigrant status has been a factor in our relationship. I have sat with her through meetings with lawyers, court appearances and interviews with Homeland Security officials, and have spent countless hours filing documents, gathering evidence, writing letters and traveling to different federal buildings. Particularly after we dropped our lawyer (to save cash), our life has been about waiting to hear about our latest appointment, and then scrambling to get finger prints, tax papers and other stuff together for the next round. And, government bureaucrats being who they are, we have had to correct mistakes on documents which always entailed new forms to fill out and regathering and/or updating old information. When she was finally called to take her civics test a few weeks ago, there was a file about eight inches thick on the immigration officer's desk containing, believe me, about 1/3 of the actual documentation we have had to provide. Particularly irksome to me, was having to prove again and again that our marriage was not fraudulent. I'm sure if the shoe were on the other foot and Neeta was sponsoring me, I would have long ago told them to keep their freakin' citizenship! But she hung in there and now, she tells me, she can "talk back to anybody" which is pretty funny if you know my demure, sweet wife. We will be married five years on Thursday. I swore it was seven years. She had to actually show me our wedding license to prove to me it was only five. It occurred to me (later) that some women might be angry that their husbands couldn't remember how long they were married. But not my girl. Take note, grasshoppers. When you have a guy who loves to cook for you, and does a pretty decent job, you can forgive a lot of crap. I hope.
So, today's meal came about because I felt like eating potatoes. I had just been food shopping and had the fixings for one of my greens and beans dishes which I usually make with pasta, but this potato thing came over me and since it's a "bachelor day", I was leaning towards pork and potatoes.
To begin with, I put two small new potatoes on to boil, starting them in cold water. They need to boil about 15 minutes or so till a fork can pierce them, but not so easily that I could serve them at that point. Meanwhile, I diced two cloves of garlic, a sprig of rosemary and a slice of pancetta. I had time to also wash and rip a handful of escarole (about 4 or 5 leaves).
To hasten their cooling, I sliced the potatoes. They can be handled rather quickly while you brown first the pancetta, then the garlic and rosemary. The potato slices should be skinned and cut into cubes. In the foreground is the diced pancetta and the rosemary. Oh, and save the potato cooking water for later on.
I added the cubed potatoes to the pan with the pancetta, garlic and rosemary, salted them and added some red pepper flakes. After the potatoes absorbed the oil in the pan, I added about a half ladle of the cooking water.
Next, I added the escarole to the pan with a little more of the potato cooking water, stirred everything and covered the pan till the escarole was tender (about 5 minutes).
This is how it looked after 5 minutes. Most of the water has been absorbed and the potatoes and escarole are tender. Off the heat, I add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil and taste for seasoning. Perfect! Now it's inside to eat and watch the Met's game!